Junk Food and Fast Food

Beginning in the 1970s, PepsiCo had acquired several fast food restaurant chains, including Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, as an adjunct to its soda business. It required that those chains serve only Pepsi-Cola. Other fast food chains, such as McDonald’s, saw PepsiCo as a competitor and refused to sell PepsiCo products. PepsiCo […]

Wrigley Co.

In 1891, William Wrigley, Jr. moved to Chicago and began selling soap. To increase sales, he gave away gum to his customers. His gum was a hit and so he decided to make and sell gum. In 1893, he began manufacturing Juicy Fruit and Spearmint gums. Wrigley’s gum was packaged in small containers with five […]

York Peppermint Patties

The York Peppermint Pattie is a flat, round, dark chocolate with peppermint creme inside. It was formulated and launched in 1940 by the York Cone Company, which mainly manufactured ice cream cones. The company had been founded in 1920 in York, Pennsylvania; it mainly distributed its product in the Northeast, Ohio, Indiana, and Florida. In […]


Elzie Crisler Segar, a syndicated cartoonist for the King Features, created the Popeye the Sailor Man comics in 1929. In 1931, Segar introduced J. Wellington Wimpy, a fat cartoon character who loved to eat hamburgers. Wimpy was either too cheap or too poor to pay for them, and so he tried to con others into […]

Winchell's Donut House

In 1948, Verne H. Winchell founded Winchell’s Donut House in Temple City, a suburb of Los Angeles. From Los Angeles, Winchell’s spread northward to San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and east to Phoenix and Denver. The company merged with the Denny’s restaurant chain 20 years later. The trend toward healthier foods caused serious problems for doughnut […]

Wendy's International

Dave Thomas worked for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Arthur Treacher’s before he opened his first Wendy’s restaurant in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. Thomas believed that Americans wanted larger hamburgers than those offered by other chains, so he created a square beef patty, which probably was influenced by White Castle’s square patty. He charged 55 cents […]

White Castle

In 1916, J. Walter “Walt” Anderson, a short-order cook in a diner in Wichita, Kansas, purchased an old shoe repair building, which he converted into a hamburger stand. He sold his burgers for a nickel apiece, which his customers (mainly workers) could afford. At the time, hamburgers were commonly sold on the street but they […]

White Tower

In the 1920s, John E. Saxe, his son, Thomas E. Saxe, and an associate, Daniel J. O’Connell, examined White Castle outlets in Minneapolis and concluded that fast food was an excellent idea and that White Castle had the right approach. In 1926, they opened their first White Tower restaurant near Marquette University in Milwaukee. It […]


In addition to crime, fast food chains have been subjected to violence due to various political, economic, and social causes. An activist French farmer, Jose Bove, became upset in 1999 with tariffs placed on importation of Roquefort cheese into the United States, which he and fellow farmers made. As a result, also in 1999, he […]


Fast food chains package their foods in disposable paper bags, wrappers, and cardboard and Styrofoam containers. Fast food outlets therefore do not have to clean utensils, ceramic cups, plates, or serving dishes. Although paper, plastic, and foam products cost money, they are not as expensive as the stolen and broken dishes that prevailed before the […]